ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland lawmakers are set to lock horns over the state’s death penalty.

Political reporter Pat Warren has details of a plan to have capital punishment repealed.

Lawmakers who want to repeal the death penalty think the November election may have turned the tide their way.

Opponents of the Maryland death penalty law set the stage for another emotional battle of beliefs. On one side, Kirk Bloodsworth is sentenced to death and walks away with his freedom when DNA proves him innocent. On the other, Steven Oken is sentenced to death and walks to the chamber of execution, and his victim’s mother watches him die.

“My daughter didn’t have the luxury to die in peace the way I saw him die tonight,” said Betty Romano.

But death penalty opponents argue no one should die at the hands of the state, and Bloodsworth proves the state makes mistakes.

“It does not work. It does not deter. It is racially discriminatory,” said Delegate Sandy Rosenberg.

Death penalty opponents believe there are enough votes to have the death penalty repealed.

“The 2010 election brought in new senators and new delegates who readily signed on to repeal,“ said Jane Henderson, Citizens Against State Executions.

They could be wrong.

“No, it would not pass the Senate,” said Mike Miller, Senate president.

Miller supports the death penalty.

“There was a crime in Baltimore where a person killed a shopkeeper and then locked him in the freezer with his little child overnight. Somebody who commits crimes like that, in my opinion, deserves the death penalty,” Miller said.

The bill will be introduced in the House next week.

Right now executions in Maryland are on hold until the state approves a new protocol for administering lethal injections. Sixty-one members of the House of Delegates have signed on to repeal the death penalty. There are 21 co-sponsors in the Senate.

Comments (15)
  1. ramarro smith says:

    I believe TYexas has it right…You Kill Us…We Will Kill You Back

  2. Guest says:

    If the death penalty reasons, DNA, confession, video have been met, why should the people of Maryland keep alive these people who have killed someone else with purpose and with maliciousness. What makes them so special. What chance did they give their victims. With the Courts now a days, if you give them life, they expect to get parole in a certain number of years. Perhaps the people that do no want the death penalty should be responsible for these criminals and take them into their own homes and watch them and see what happens after a time.

  3. a fed up guy says:

    We have the death penalty now, the problem is they hardly ever use it and the tax payers have to foot the bill to keep convicted murders alive for years and years while they file appeals. The only way for it to work is to actually start executing the trash on death row. A penalty that is hardly ever used will not serve as any sory of deterrant to crime. Oh yeah, they should kill them the same way they killed thier victim. You know, like if they raped and tortured a little kid, thats how they die. It won;t stop some of the sickos, but a very real iron clad you kill you get killed penalty might stop some people and it would save taxpayers millions. Face it, the world would be better off without most of the animals in prison for the 3rd…4th…12th time that they spend lots of tax payer money to care for better than some honest law abiding people out on the streets. Making prisons really awful would help- do you really feel like having your tax $$$ spent so prisoners can have air conditioning, cable tv and other things that are luxeries and not necessities. What ever happened to hard labor? more people care about the “rights” of murders, rapists, dope dealers, bank robbers and on than honest hard working people who can;t even afford to take their kid to the doctor when they are sick.

    Quit coddling murders and just execute them!

  4. Glen Burnie's Best says:

    Maryland has always had the wimpiest Death Penalty while having the hardest killers. All that commit the cromes should receive the ultimate sentence. Let’s face it, Maryland has a severe budget problem. What does it cost to keep these people alive and in jail forever? A lot of money!!! There are 3 things that Maryland can do: 1. Leave the death penalty as-is with the injections; 2. Either bring back te gas chamber or give old sparky a try (electric chair); 3. Arm all the prisoners of lesser crimes & give them good behavior points for shooting the killers. By repealing the law the lawmakers are sending the wrong signals to the criminals on the street. As for the question of Race being the issue here: Ask yourself: a. Where are most of the shootings? — inner city. b. Who lives in the inner city and who is seen on the news as charged? — Black inner city folks. Sure whites kill people too and they should get what they deserve. But PLEASE, get down off the soapbox crying discrimination. Maybe when a ricj lawmaker has a family membere become a victim of one of these crimes, they will lay off moratoriums and repealing this law….

    1. Heather says:

      Glen Burnie You crack me up. I couldn’t have said it better. I totally agree.

  5. chalkie says:

    Between our useless court system to our useless prisons, nobody worries about doing a crime in this state. What happen to hard labor, so you didn’t do another crime and go back to jail. How many of the prisoners in this state are multi-time offenders. Our capital punishment system sucks, because the judges will not enforce it. Last report I heard it cost $57000 a year to house each prisoner. The are elderly and childern in this state that cannot get the proper health care they need, or they go hungry because they cannot afford to buy food. But we spend all this on each prisoner, what a joke. Bring back hard labor, chain gangs, trash pick up etc. etc etc.. Our prison system doesn’t rehabilate anyone from a life of crime. If these folks that run our government cannot fix this problem plus the illegal immigrant problem we have, IT’S TIME WE VOTE PEOPLE IN WHO CAN!!!! Our polititions waste some much time and money its unbelivable.

  6. The Reel Deal says:

    How can the death penalty be racially discriminatory? The majority of murders happen in Baltimore City, where the majority of the people are Black. ( The majority or murders in Beijing are Asians LOL!) The majority of murder victims are also Black- people tend to kill the same as their own race, particularly if they are aquainted with the victim, which most murderers are. Black people generally kill Black people and White people kill White people. Humm, maybe that is racist??? The only person who choses to be a murderer is the one that does the killing, so they have nobody to blame for the statistics but themselves. Face it, most of these murders and other serious crimes are related to those who sell and use drugs and get involved with gangs and I would have no problem if they all killed each other off as drugs are the root of so many problems. Maybe I’m weird, but nobody ever held me down and forced me to use drugs.

    I am so tired of people whining and saying they have “no future” or “no way out” and that’s why they turn to gangs and crime as that is a bunch of BS. Everyone in this country is entitled to a free appropriate high school education, yet look at the high dropout rate among Black males in Baltimore city. Why is that? They have an education handed to them on a silver platter and do not take advantage of it. I have no idea why and the schools could certainly be improved, but why are young Black men not taking advantage of what is offered?

    The average prison inmate, Black or White, only has a tenth grade education- what does that tell you about dropping out of school and where it will get you? Even worse, many in prison with nothing but time again refuse the offer of free high school, skilled trades and even free college educations. What kind of job can you get with less than a high school education? How can you support a family? What would happen if those in prison had to get a high school diploma or master a skilled trade before getting out? Quite honestly, one of the solutions to the problem is to keep young Black men and women in school because statistics show they can get better jobs and are less likely to end up in prison. Sorry, it’s a pet peeve as I am a Black man from Baltimore city and a single parent home and I worked hard to get good grades in high school so I could get a scholarship to go to college and not follow the path of so many of the other kids in my neighborhood. I also never used drugs and, thank goodness, my dear mother watched us like a hawk and gave us little opportunity to get into trouble. In fact, all of us eventually graduated from college and have good jobs & families now. Sorry to go off on a different subject, but the racist thing is nothing but an excuse for reality. There is a problem, but young Blacks need to fix it!

    As for murders and 3 strike felons, you had your chance, so take a number and line up for the death chamber because I don’t want my tax dollars paying for you to live a minute longer.

  7. county says:

    There is no reason we should keep these people alive. They cost the tax payers too much money. between their attorneys, appeals, food clothing etc. They are a burden in our society and need not be in it. In high school there were 2 people I was friends with were viciously murdered. I remember the man who killed them was executed and watched on tv people saying he should not be executed. Even at a young age i remember thinking. He is never going to be able to hurt anyone else. That was the best feeling in the world to know he could not take another friend of mine or sister, brother mother or father of another family. He paid the ultimate price for what he did and justice was served in the end, as it should have been.

  8. gary says:

    no way, it’s my money you’re playing with
    I don’t want to feed and cloth them nor do I want to pay for their internet access
    kill them all, let God sort em out

  9. DB From Joppa says:

    If a jury of your peers decides that you should die for your crimes, who does some bleeding heart liberal think they are to deny the victims family that conclusion?

    If you murder someone, you loose your right to continue to be a part of society.

  10. CATHY says:

    How can anyone say it is racially motivated,it would not be if it was not for 3/4 of the state is black and they are the ones doing the crime.I believe god is the only one to take a life,not the state,They need to be put in a prison 2×4 cell with no tv or exercise and see ghow they suffer,to me that would be worse than dying,GOD forgives so heaven they would live again.Right now prisioners are fed good,have tv and exercise get cooledge degrees in there,WRONG MOVE

  11. Heather says:

    I am pro death penalty. If somebody hurt or killed my kids, i’d be out for blood.

  12. Jesse says:

    Considering how most people accuse the justice system of being flawed, I’m surprised half of those people are willing to support the death penalty. For those concerned about tax dollars, death row costs way more than putting the person in prison for life. We loose family and friends in a variety of ways and it hurts just as much…not sure why anyone would feel like they have to strip themselves from all moral because another person did it. Nothing brings them back and being so vindictive can only prolong healing.

  13. Heather says:

    And I def think that any person who committed a sex offense to a child, should have a speed pass to the front of the line of death row! Maryland should be more like Texas, we’d probably have less crime.

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